Life is Noise presents
8:00pm, Fri 19th October, 2012
Oxford Art Factory, NSW
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Portland, Oregon collective Grails bring their enigmatic live show to Australia for the first time this October, treating audiences in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.
Instrumental rockers Grails have traversed vast musical plains since their conception as a side project by the name of "Laurel Canyon" in 2000. The name change accompanied the creation of first full-length album in 2003, and Grails have released an album or more per year since, toying with various musical shapes and styles and leaving themselves tough to identify with a single genre.
"From lost Japanese psychedelic drone to Turkish '60s rock to more contemporaneous kosmische jammers, Grails subsumed inspirations and, for the most part, spun them into songs that were more than the sum of their historical references." - Dusted Magazine
2008's Doomsdayer's Holiday is cited by Pitchfork as Grails' "heaviest" album to date. Whilst there are definite indirect nods to bands such as Mastodon or Black Sabbath, "heavy" applies more to the sense of sonic density rather than the sound itself. Immersive compositions and unpredictable structures create an ominous mood littered with stinging violins and throbbing bass lines, where even the quiet moments invoke a sense of trepidation.
Deep Politics (2011) is best described as spaghetti post-rock, and a testament to Grails' ability to create near-cinematic soundscapes to rival those of Ennio Morricone. Constantly swirling sounds and shifting dynamics make every moment on this album captivating - unlike other instrumental acts, the focus is not on an overwhelming crescendo but rather the power of subtlety and unpredictability to create a enticing whole. Slower moments are interspersed with sandstorms of chaotic guitar, which are then tamed again as eastern-tinged strings meld roll into the mix like a lonely spinifex.
"Grails, as their live performances show, are a powerfully mesmerizing group of musicians...They present their music as a chamber ensemble, never feeling jammy or meandering, while the moods are exotic and transporting, creating decidedly 'other' realms that make you feel like a stranger in your own land..." - Tiny Mix Tapes
Their live show is a transcendental experience - generic instruments become tools capable of taking the listener on a trip through smoky layers of mind, body and spirit. With talented musicians sharing instruments and interchangeable parts, the first ever Grails Australian tour is definitely the must-see for 2012!